Frederick strolls with Voltaire through the palace of Sans-Souci

Atheist and gay, Frederick the Great was more radical than most leaders today

Reacquaintance with Germany is long overdue for most English people. Before 1914 it was at least as familiar as France…

‘Early Morning at the Kumbh Mela, Allahabad, India’, 1989, by Don McCullin

Don McCullin interview: ‘I take more than I bring. That’s not a role I’m proud of’

Jenny McCartney talks to the celebrated photojournalist about war, guilt and Aylan

Lauren Laverne (Photo: Getty)

Late Night Woman’s Hour assumes that all women think about is dating, desire and drinking

Late Night Woman’s Hour has created a Twitter storm with its twice-weekly (Thursdays and Fridays) doses of ‘mischievous and unbridled…

Author, critic and TV presenter Clive James (Photo: Getty)

‘Doorways to the unknown’: Clive James’s Latest Readings

In the preface to his great collection of essays The Dyer’s Hand, W.H. Auden claimed: ‘I prefer a critic’s notebooks…

Thousands of protesters gather for an anti-war demonstration in New York, 2003

We Are Many reviewed: does anyone think this anti-Iraq War film will change anything?

Big-screen documentaries never change the world. Blackfish has not shortened the queues to see maltreated killer whales leap through hoops…

Rosie Kay's 5 Soldiers (Photo: Tim Cross)

Rosie Kay’s 5 Soldiers: brutishly physical and powerfully striking

In dance, it’s usually the moment the boys start fighting that challenges your suspension of disbelief. Synchronised fencing (MacMillan’s Romeo…

RAMC stretcher-bearers from the South Eastern Mounted Brigade enter the Field Ambulance dressing station at Y Ravine. Picture courtesy of Stephen Chambers

The other trenches: the Dardanelles, 100 years on

Peter Parker discerns classical allusion amid the horror in two books commemorating the centenary of the Gallipoli campaign

Left: ‘Dream of a good witch’, c.1819–23, by Goya Right: ‘Bajan niñendo (They descend quarrelling)’, c.1819–23, by Goya

Flying witches, mad old men, cannibals: what was going on in Goya’s head?

It is not impossible to create good art that makes a political point, just highly unusual. Goya’s ‘Third of May’…


Shelling, militiamen and shattered villages: welcome to eastern Ukraine’s ceasefire

Ukraine’s war goes on – in some places now, and soon everywhere

Rambo wannabe, Matthew VanDyke: ‘Everybody wants cool stuff they can show their friends on Facebook’

Arabian Motorcycle Adventures review: enthralling and constantly surprising

There were great numbers of young men who had never been in a war and were consequently far from unwilling…

Soldier, poet and author Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967 Photo: Getty

Standing firm is the price of civilisation. Are we still ready to pay it?

Reading Memoirs of a Fox-Hunting Man, as I have recently, you cannot help but be struck by what a perfectly…

Rochester’s special qualities, and the price of Ebola.com

What’s special about Rochester What is special about Rochester and Strood? — Rochester has the second oldest cathedral and school…

Spectator letters: St Augustine and Louise Mensch, war votes and flannel

Faith and flexibility Sir: What a contrast in your two articles on religion last week: one liberal atheist parent (Claire…

Edinburgh International Book Festival

Must MPs always vote before we go to war?

Jesse Norman was permitted three minutes for his speech to the Commons in last Friday’s debate. But the contribution from…


The wars that really are about the oil

You can’t understand any of the world’s crises without understanding petropolitics

The spokesman of the Izz al-Din al-Qassam, "Abu Ubaida," in

No, I haven’t seen that beheading video. And it’s not right to share it

It’s time to stand up against the self-righteous sharing of videos of beheading and other gruesome violence


I like the look of this exciting new Islamic State. But why don’t they want Belgium?

There is something attractive about almost the whole of southern Europe being part of an immense and somewhat rigorous caliphate,…

Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip, Duke of Edinburgh attend a garden party at Buckingham Palace Photo: AFP/Getty

The Spectator's notes: Diana's bed, Boris's dirty trick and Prince Philip's mystery tie

On Friday night, I went to Althorp, childhood home of Diana, Princess of Wales, to speak at its literary festival.…

Do wars always start in years ending ‘14’?

Years of war Imaginative souls have tried to compared the situation in Ukraine with that which preceded the first world…

(Photo: Getty)

Soldiers aren't social workers, Mr Cameron. Remember that before taking on hopeless wars

The ghost people, the letter people. The ones we hear about in court but never call by their real name;…

Letters: James Whitaker’s widow answers Toby Young

Absent friends Sir: Alec Marsh (‘Welcome to Big Venice’, 10 August) accurately observes that Londoners are priced out of central…


Radio review: Damascus Diary: destruction of a city

We’ve heard it all before — the misery that war wreaks on everyday lives — but Lina Sinjab’s audio diary…

Tensions Rise Along the Israeli/ Syria Border

Why can’t we be honest about Syria?

Wouldn’t it be nice just once in a while to have a war in the -Middle East that wasn’t predicated…

Margaret H. Thatcher

The Falklands victory

19 June 1982: Defeating General Galtieri made Conservatism respectable again

Some legends flourish …

Confronted by the dead Athenian heroes of the Peloponnesian War, Pericles gave voice in his funeral oration to an idea…